Monday, April 4, 2016

The presumed constitutionality of a statute.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division found that the motion court properly determined that plaintiff failed to demonstrate that Family Court Act § 517 was unconstitutional to the extent that it placed a limitation on the time when a child could seek a paternity test, given the state's legitimate interest in securing support for a child from those legally responsible. The limitations period is not arbitrary and capricious in that, by age 21, a parent may not be legally responsible for support.

Plaintiff also failed to provide binding legal authority for his claim that he had a constitutional right to know the identity of his biological father, given the strong presumption that his mother's husband, who was listed on his birth certificate, is his father.

Student note:  A statute is presumed constitutional, and that presumption can only be overcome by proof that is persuasive beyond a reasonable doubt.

Case:  Winkler v. Sherman, NY Slip Op -2142 (1st Dep't 2016)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Setting up a supplemental needs trust.